My favorite hummer hovered at my porch, asking me to put the feeder out on March 31! At least three weeks early.
For Mary Ann Bame, the highlight of her visit to Austin, Texas, was cheering for her grandson Luke at three of his games. Luke plays left field and pitches for the Westlake High School Chaps freshman baseball team.
According to his proud grandmother, Luke has played baseball since he was a little guy. As a Little Leaguer, when his team won its division, Luke got to travel to play at Cooperstown, New York. Luke’s parents are Mike and Gwen Bame. His 11-year-old sister Nora is on the cheerleading team at her school.
Mary Ann spent this winter in the valley. She doesn’t mind the cold so much as her late husband did. If you knew Vern, you’ll remember his jokes. When he retired, Vern said he’d attach a snow shovel to the front of his rig, then drive until nobody knew what a snow shovel is. That’s where he would settle. Of the two of them, Vern was the one who preferred to spend winters in the Southwest.
Mary Ann volunteers at the Methow Valley Senior Center at least once a week and serves on the center’s board. She also intends to volunteer at the Shafer Museum in Winthrop.
While Mary Ann and I were on the phone, we shared a little about needing help with some of the tasks that we once were comfortable doing ourselves. I asked if she had heard about Methow At Home.
At a March 31 public forum about the program at the Twisp River Pub, the packed dining room was filled mostly by seniors over 60, the exceptions being members of the steering committee and a few others who plan to volunteer. The topic was serious and relevant to me. I listened to the facts about aging and Okanogan County’s resources for the aging as presented by Sheila Brandenburg, a guide at Jamie’s Place.
“Old age is not interesting until we get there,” Sheila said. What Sheila had to tell us wasn’t all happy news. Yes, there are resources for the aging, but it is hard to say how they will keep up with the need for care. The need for a resource like Methow At Home — which will help us stay in our homes as long as possible — is great. The need for each of us seniors to have a plan for ourselves as we age is really important as well.
“Show me a community where people care and have respect for their elders, and I’ll show you a good place to live,” said Glenn Schmekel, who talked about The Cove’s services and the potential for Methow At Home. Glenn and his wife, Carolyn, live in a two-story house on 20 acres. He says he’s found the older he gets the more he needs the hot tub and chiropractor. “When is Methow At Home going to start?” he asked. It can’t be too soon.
Kate Johnson, a member of Methow At Home’s steering committee, talked about the program and the role it would play in its members’ lives.
A nascent nonprofit, Methow At Home is based on a national model, a “virtual village” that for a small monthly fee, projected to be $25 for an individual and $38 for a couple, will provide members services at their homes. Members will have access to volunteer and professional services.
As a “TAB,” a temporarily able-bodied adult, I look forward to January 2016 when Methow At Home will begin. I hope to volunteer as well as make use of its services. The more members who subscribe, the less expensive the service will be. The phone number for the program given at the forum is 996-5844.